Brandon Hensarling

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Tech giants get Obama's ear on NSA

Tech leaders took full advantage of their White House invitation Tuesday, sidestepping a conversation on HealthCare.gov and federal acquisition for one on NSA and surveillance reform.<p>The White House billed the president’s conversation with industry executives as a discussion largely focused on the …

Senate vote clears budget deal for passage this week

Senate Democrats secured enough support to overcome GOP opposition of the two-year budget deal.<p>WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday cleared a key procedural hurdle for final passage of a two-year, bipartisan budget deal before the end of the week.<p>By a vote of 67-33, Senate Democrats easily surpassed …

Gun control is killing people, claim US lobbyists

A year after Sandy Hook massacre, a teenager fights for life following latest school shooting but gun rights lobbyist calls for end to "lethal" restrictions on firearms to mark "Guns Save Lives Day"<p>A prominent US gun rights advocate called for a campaign to overturn state-level weapon control laws, …

NSA officials consider Edward Snowden amnesty in return for documents

National Security Agency officials are considering a controversial amnesty that would return Edward Snowden to the United States, in exchange for the extensive document trove the whistleblower took from the agency.<p>An amnesty, which does not have the support of the State Department, would represent …

Last Australia combat troops leave Afghan base

<b>Australia has closed its main military base in Afghanistan and its last combat troops have withdrawn from Uruzgan province, officials have announced.</b><p>The Australian military has maintained a permanent presence at Tarin Kot base in the province since 2005.<p>But officials announced on Monday that the …

The Republican Primary to End All Republican Primaries

Texas Senator John Cornyn's challenge from Steve Stockman, a militia-loving birther congressman, could be the ultimate expression of Tea Party nihilism.<p>John Cornyn, the senior senator from Texas, is nobody's idea of a liberal. He once compared gay marriage to the "union of man and box turtle." He …

Esa's Cryosat sees Arctic sea-ice volume bounce back

<b>The bounce back in the extent of sea ice in the Arctic this summer was reflected also in the volume of ice.</b><p>Data from Europe's Cryosat spacecraft suggests there were almost 9,000 cu km of ice at the end of this year's melt season.<p>This is close to 50% more than in the corresponding period in 2012.<p>It …

NSA task force leader backs talks on amnesty for Snowden

The head of the National Security Agency task force assessing the effect of leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden opened the door to the possibility of offering Snowden amnesty in exchange for documents -- though his boss is not on board with the idea.<p>In an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes," …

Great expectations for Chile's new president

<b>Winning Chile's presidential election was pretty easy for Michelle Bachelet.</b><p>She led the contest from the start and never faced much of a challenge from her bickering centre-right opponents.<p>The hard part will start in March when she takes office.<p>Ms Bachelet will inherit a country with an economy …

Angelina Jolie may testify in News Corp phone hacking case

Angelina Jolie may be called to give evidence in a phone hacking legal action in the United States, according to a report in the Hollywood Reporter.<p>The possibility emerged in the latest hearing in a case launched in California against News Corporation by Eunice Huthart, who has worked as Jolie's …

European Union Cancels Fresh Trade Talks With Ukraine

The European Union has halted fresh trade talks with the embattled government of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich as hundreds of thousands of …

Washington's horizontal woes

In the late summer of 1791, a 37-year-old former French art student and veteran of the Revolutionary War presented George Washington with his plan for a new American capital on the banks of the Potomac River. “The city must be beautiful, due advantage being taken of the hilly nature of the spot for …

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GOP zeroes in on debt limit debate

Don’t expect Republicans to lay down and support a clean debt-limit increase next year.<p>House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said on “Fox News Sunday” that Senate and House Republicans will soon huddle at their party retreats to figure out what Republicans can extract from Democrats in …

Egyptian man faces questioning after son is jailed for having pro-Morsi ruler

The father of a 15-year-old schoolboy jailed without trial for carrying a subversive ruler has also been summoned for questioning by prosecutors, the family's lawyer says.<p>Mohamed Bakara is under investigation for allegedly inciting his son Khaled to carry a ruler bearing a controversial pro-Morsi …

U.S. Transfers Two Guantanamo Detainees To Saudi Arabia

Over the weekend, the United States transferred custody of two detainees from its prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the government of Saudi Arabia, the Department of Defense said in a press release on Monday.<p>The move marked a small step toward President Obama's stated interest in closing the …

Mission accomplished in Afghanistan, declares David Cameron

David Cameron has declared the mission in Afghanistan will have been accomplished by the time all British troops have been withdrawn at the end of next year despite fears of a surge of violence from the Taliban around next year's elections.<p>The prime minister made the bold claim – with echoes of …

No Amnesty For Edward Snowden, White House Says

Looks like Edward Snowden won't get amnesty after all.<p>"Mr. Snowden is accused of leaking classified information and faces felony charges here in the United States," Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, said, according to <i>USA Today</i>. "He should be returned to the U.S. as …

Bread, Beef and Other Foods That Will Cost Way More Next Year

Got milk? You probably will next year — reports of $8-a-gallon milk are overblown, but there are some food items that will have you digging deeper in …

Boehner, Ryan lobby Senate GOP

Speaker John Boehner and Rep. Paul Ryan persuaded 167 House Republicans to back the bipartisan budget deal last week and effectively put an end to this year’s fiscal wars.<p>Now, they’re trying to get at least five Senate Republicans to do the same.<p>In an attempt to head off growing Senate GOP …

Judge: NSA program likely unconstitutional

A federal judge ruled Monday that the National Security Agency program which collects information on nearly all telephone calls made to, from or within the United States is likely unconstitutional.<p>U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon found that the program appears to violate the Fourth Amendment …

How Janet Yellen Can Save the Economy

The nominee to lead the Federal Reserve is an old-school progressive economist with two guiding passions: reducing unemployment and reining in Wall Street.<p>Every Federal Reserve Board chairman comes into office with a secret agenda, a hidden passion. It's the sort of thing you don't hear about at …